Play-off round of the Beach Handball World Championships started on Saturday. In the women's tournament, the quarterfinals started with games of Brazil - Paraguay, and Poland - Norway.
The Brazilians confirmed their status of the tournamen't favourite. Three times world champions confidently delivered a victory against Paraguay in two sets – 16:11, 17:12.
The encounter between Poland and Norway tuned out to be much tougher. In a close fight team Poland won the first set – 17:16. Then team Norway won the second set. The Scandinavians were much stronger in the second set – 24:9 – and won the game in the shootout. The reigning European champion won the series 6-4 and made it to the semifinal.
The match of Spain and Denmark was tense as well. The reigning world champions won the first set 22-20, but then let the Scandinavians win the second set. The Dutch won the second set 15-11 and the match continued in shootouts. However, Scandinavians failed to claw the victory. Spain was stronger in the shootouts – 9:6 – and secured their semifinal berth.
Team Russia played against team Greece at the quarterfinal. Prior to the game,
Russians were believed to be favourites of the match. They confidently won the first set – 25:20, and then team Greece managed to turn the tide of the game. Thanks to their confident attacks, Greece won the second set – 21:18. Luck finally turned its back to Russia during the shootout series. Greece won with the score of 12-10.
Thus, the following teams will play in semifinals:
Brazil – Norway
Spain – Greece
The semifinals will start at 18:20.
Teams of Poland, Paraguay, Denmark, and Russia will contest the 5th-8th places.
Text: Artem Lisovsky
Photo: HF/Stéphane Pillaud